View this email in your browser

Got this as a forward from a friend? Please use to subscribe. 

#LifeLessons from Naval - Part 1 (#SoGv2 - 05)

Good evening. Here's the SoGv2 for the day. There isn't much to report for the day and I am going to disappoint you. I have been busy with work and did not get time to think about what to write. 

But, keeping with the tradition of making this useful to you, here are my notes (and some comments) from the conversation between Naval and Joe. If you haven't seen this podcast, go see it now. These are the best 2 hours that you would spend in this year. PS: Joe's podcast is what I want to be to able to take inspiration from, for mine. 

And when you are done with this, go listen to Naval talk to Shane. And Naval talk to Tim. Apart from these podcasts, consume everything that Naval has spoken, recommended or tweeted

So, here are my transcript and notes from the conversation between Naval and Joe (this is incomplete - I am yet to digest the entire thing). The ones that I am highlighting are worth obsessing over. 

Here goes... 
  • What makes Naval interesting? 
    • Combine things that you are not supposed to combine. Dancing ear on a unicycle. 
  • Specialization / Focus
    • Specialisation is for insects. 
    • Ancient Romans had an arc to life - student, warrior, businessman, philosopher. Rich life. 
    • Don't believe in trying to do one thing. SG note - However, in life, I’ve been told by everyone around me that I need to focus and do that one thing well. 
    • Mountain climbing. You spent a lot of time to reach 2/3rd of the way up and even though the peak is distant, you don't want to restart. It is painful! 
    • Greatest people have the ability to do things start over. 
    • Ability to start over. 
  • Lives for the aha moment when two things connect and you find the answer.
  • Knowledge
    • Answers, covers (trap doors), memorised things
    • You have to know it well enough to teach. 
    • “Don't give me the lecture. Don’t give me a book. Give me a blog. Tweet. I already know.” 
  • Read
    • Read best 100 books over and over rather thousands. 
    • Attention span vs multitask well. 
    • Rather than the number of books read, evaluate the concepts understood. 
  • Social media
    • You show off the best parts of your life.
    • Signalling vs looking at self in true sense. 
    • Celebs are miserable. 
    • Compliments build your self-image. Easy to get attacked. And once you get attacked, you get miserable. 
    • Rich and anonymous. Not poor and famous. 
    • Anonymity is a privilege. 
  • How to get rich without getting lucky 
    • Timeless principles of wealth creation
    • Three things that everyone wants - wealthy, happy, fit (Fitness - cant teach)
    • Naval tries to inspire you and get you hooked on the principles that he came up when he was young. 
    • Leverage (we live in the age of infinite leverage) 
    • Long-term 
    • Build value 
    • Doesn’t like to say things twice
    • If you have something new, say it. Otherwise, it’s been said already better. 
    • Done already on wealth. Will do on happiness. 
    • You don't want to be the guy that is successful but is high-stress.
    • You gotta be coolest in the room when there’s a crisis. And you figure out the correct answer. 
  • Social contracts 
    • Humans have a need to be consistent. You tell the world and then you get forced into doing things. 
  • Happiness 
    • Happiness is a choice. Just like fitness is a choice, working hard and making money is a choice etc. 
    • If you’re so smart, then you find happiness. 
    • If you are so smart, why can't you change what's in your head? 
    • Desire - a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want. 
    • When I am unhappy, I look at the desire that is not being unfulfilled. 
    • Don't pick random desires (my coffee is cold etc). Pick one overwhelming desire and suffer over it. Let others go. Don’t get worked up by every small thing. 
    • Unhappy people are busy in their minds. 
    • Sense of self is too strong. 
    • Clear, calm, cool, collected mind 
  • We live in the age of infinite leverage
    • Actions can be multiplied a 1000 fold - code, podcast, write, decisions 
    • Clear mind = better decisions 
    • Peak performance = tame your mind and body.
  • Work and output
    • Work is not linear (output is not equal to input)
    • Lion (not a cow - not graze all day). Hunt like lions. 
    • Intellectual athlete - train hard, sprint, rest, reassess, feedback, train, loop
    • Machines work 9 to 5. Humans don't. 
    • You won’t get rich by renting out your time. 
    • Own a business. 
    • Equity (owner, investor, shareholder, brand) to gain your financial freedom 
  • Working for self
    • Information age will reverse Industrial Age in 100 years
    • When we were hunter-gatherers, no hierarchy 
    • If someone can tell you when to be at work and what to wear and how to behave, you are not free. 
    • How? Internal transaction cost vs external transaction cost 
      • How hard is to do things externally, I rather keep it house 
      • IT is making is easy to send things external
      • Gig economy (events is like that) 
    • In future, high-quality work will be available to select people. Like how Hollywood works already. We are the most productive in this manner. 
      • You pick work you want to, at when you want to and with who you want to
      • Rated. 
    • Highest calling - when Naval can tell his team that he will help them start their respective things. SG - THIS IS WHAT I ALREADY DO! 
    • Cars and machines will be done by robots 
    • Happiness and size of companies will be correlated. 
  • Universal basic income 
    • Non-solution to a non-problem
    • Automation frees people for creating work
    • New jobs are created - more creative are jobs
    • How quickly can you retrain people?
    • UBI
      • Bankrupt the country 
      • It's not about money but about meaning. UBI doesn’t solve meaning. 
      • Who do you give it to? Once you have to filter, you are back to filtering etc. 
      • Slide to socialism 
    • Now you can educate people in mass using internet 
  • We are not close to general AI 
    • Cassandra complex and God Complex 
    • We can solve problems with large sets of data but it is not sexy to talk about those 
    • we don't know how intelligence / brains work. How can we then create general AI?
    • Need the environment and context to be able to be generally intelligent 
    • Creativity is the last frontier
    • Automation will take over all non-creative things 
  • Capitalism
    • Problems
      • Monopoly 
      • Crony capitalism 
      • Bankers have raped society 
        • Privatise the gains, socialise the losses
    • Free market / exchanges / trade 
      • Equal opportunity vs equal outcomes 
      • Suffer consequences of a bad choice, enjoy the consequences of good choice 
    • Podcast - everyone wins, value is positive
    • We must play positive-sum, ethical games 
    • Looters get socialists to say burn the system down 
    • Not destroy the engine of progress 
    • We are socialists at the head, capitalist from heart 
    • NNtaleb
      • Family - communist
      • Friends - socialist 
      • Federal - libertarian 
    • Larger the group, different interests, less trust, better incentives are aligned 
  • Income Equality 
    • Flip it. Outcome inequality 
    • Society should give everyone equal opportunity 
    • Example - retraining program. Every 4 years, take a year off and learn whatever and we’d pay 
    • Creative, long-term profession
    • Effort inequality - they put in more effort! 
  • Privilege 
    • 85% of people are dead!
  • Broadcast
    • Everyone with a twitter handle has the ability to broadcast 
    • people put effort to put long posts - can you work on yourself with that kind of effort? 
    • No one wants to be seen as a horrible person?
    • If you want to see who rules over you, see who you are not allowed to criticise
    • Ability to broadcast
      • Can spread without understanding anything in depth
      • Easy to get mobs going but have to learn how to manage that 
        • Foot-soldier of mobs 
        • Anti-mob tactics 
          • If your twitter is full of politics, do I want to be your friend?
    • Twitter etc are addictive. If you get addicted, you would get fucked. 
    • Modern life - stand alone. There is no religion / country / meaning. When they attack you, you don't know what to do. 
    • Large factories that are working to make you addicted to temptations. You stand alone. Modern people need to work on resisting temptations. Draw your boundaries. No one to help you. 
    • Our generation is transition generation. Next generation will be better.
  • Media is getting more desperate. To CNN - commoditised. Internet - fact - news - immediate. 
    • News has become commoditised 
    • The illusion of objectivity is lost. No neutral opinions. 
    • Internet is a giant aggregator. One large and then the long tail. 
    • Everyone is a journalist. 
    • Most powerful people are the ones that are writing the algorithm for Twitter / Facebook / Google 
    • They can't be seen as mere carriers
    • Govt will control the large publishers 
    • Decentralised media - that is not controlled by anyone 
      • Will happen in 10 years or so 
      • Decentralised platform 
  • Leviathan slouches left 
    • Technology empowers the individual 
  • University
  • People have their mind made up and they don't have the data 
  • Test of a good system? Build a system and hand it over to the other side to run it for a decade. 
  • Mental health
  • Belief
    • All your beliefs are socialised - taken from other people 
    • If you want to be a clear thinker, remove politics 
    • I modern lives, all diseases are diseases of abundance, not of scarcity
    • Everyone is trying to program everyone else 
    • Turn society off 
  • All the man’s problem arise cos he can't sit by himself in the room for 30 mins alone 
    • iPhone - boredom was dead! 
    • I was proud that brain was working all the time. 
    • Want to rest your mind
    • Learn solitary thing 
    • Superpower of learning to be alone and enjoying it. - MUST Do
  • Meditation 
    • Meditation has become signalling
    • “Art of doing nothing”
    • Self-therapy 
    • In life, you have things buried in your head and because they are unresolved, you start thinking of those as you sit to meditate. As you start solving those, you clear your head. And at a point when you have nothing else to resolve, is the bliss. 
    • Not use an app. 
    • Concentration is a technique that allows you to focus to the extent that you even drop the thing that you are concentrating on. 
    • An hour a day - SGNote - must do! 
    • Every psychedelic state that drugs give you, can be achieved from meditation
      • Transcendental meditation 
    • End up at peace 
    • Its easier to change yourself is to change the world. And that's the best way to change the world is to live best! 
  • Environment - SG Note - I need to start thinking about this
  • Green technology
    • Biodegradable 
    • Elon Musk 
    • Don't ask people to not grow. 
    • People are NOT going to let go of economic growth 
    • Has identified the right problem and bad solutions 
    • Make innovation and technology affordable 
    • Bunch of solutions that have a trade-off.
    • if it is your property, you take care of it 

Contd... (Part 2 tomorrow)

So, this is about an hour and a half into the podcast.

I'll see the remainder tomorrow and send more notes (and skip the #5onFriday piece) - this is worth its weight in gold. And hopefully, refine notes, add thoughts and add context. I will also try to add links of other summaries that have been going around. This conversation is insane and you HAVE to consume it. 

That's it for the day! It was a long one. 
Thank you for your time! 
With gratitude, 
Enjoyed reading this letter? Forward to a friend and help them become a better version of themselves.
Got this from a friend? Subscribe to these letters at
Previous letters are archived here and here

TAGS: Naval Ravikant, Joe Rogan. 


Please note that with SoGv2, I have split my letters in three,

1. SoGv2. Sent every Tuesday and Thursday (unless I am on the road). In each SoGv2, I try to touch upon a thing that I believe can make us better. By standing on the shoulder of giants. I am thinking I will move these to Monday and Thursday (and not Tuesday). Maybe from next week. 

2. #5onFriday. Weekend read. Sent every Friday evening for your weekend reading pleasure. This is a compendium of the best of what I saw, what I read, what I recommend et al during the week gone by. This will have things from various disciplines that I am interested in - sports, poker, crypto, travel, fashion, films, writing, events, branding, Apple, entrepreneurship, philosophy, futurism, investing, wisdom, longevity and a million other things. 

3. #1KWAD. 1000 words. Sent on the other 4 days of the week. More like a blog post that I would ideally make on my personal blog. Sent to only those who choose to subscribe. You will have to explicitly tell me to add you to this list (hit reply).

You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time you like.

And, in the end, in case you have some extra lying around, I am at 1ABmUxhpbaXpBDrxtkpH8zFMBWSLCbK3sr. 
Copyright © 2019 Saurabh Garg, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp